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Sun shines over Preston shoppers as non-essential shops, pubs and more re-open

Posted on - 12th April, 2021 - 4:14pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, City Centre, Flag Market, Food & Drink, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Pubs, Restaurants in Preston, What's On in Preston
Fishergate Preston on April 12.

April 12 marks the next step in Boris Johnson’s plan to reopen the country.

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Preston was no different as non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality, hairdressers and gyms reopen across the city.

Met with a warm sun throughout the day people filled the centre restoring the city’s much-missed buzz.

Read more: ‘Strong and safe return’ to Preston high streets predicted by Preston BID

Covid-19 safety measures and restriction reminders were visible throughout the busy centre as footfall was high on the first day of reopening.

Shops ensured they counted customers in and out and marshals have been present throughout Preston. Hand sanitiser stalls and one way system markers encouraged eager purchasers to remain vigilant whilst in the city centre.

A way one system in place at St Georges shopping centre.

Shops such as Primark and Debenhams in the Fishergate centre upheld queues as the day went on, local shops also kept busy trading for the first time in months welcoming happy shoppers back in store.

Preston’s outdoor market saw the cities vibrant reopening with plenty of stall owners returning to market their goods for the first time since January. There has been smiles all around from traders as they return to their stands to sell again on the lively Flag market once more. One stall holder from The book stops here at Preston markets said: “We’re glad to be back. Nice and sunny day.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see everyone back in the market.”

The book stops here at Preston outdoor market.

Read more: What you can and can’t do as Preston and Lancashire enter the next phase of lockdown easing

See our thread of pictures and videos from the first morning of trading

Preston BID have also been on hand throughout the day encouraging busy shoppers to follow government guidelines on mask wearing, handing out free face coverings to anyone who wants one.

Mike from Preston BID stall said: “We’re giving out free facemasks to the public, they might have been caught short and forgotten or they want a spare. They’re absolutely free, washable and reusable so everyone is welcome to come and collect their free facemask.”

Preston BID on hand to give out free face masks on the Flag Market.

Some hospitality also opened in Preston city centre, as new government loosening of restrictions allows customers to eat and drink in outdoor, open spaces. People do not have to order a substantial meal like the last lockdown but must observe social distancing and must follow either the rule of six, or be in a a group of any size with no more than two households present.

Read more: Preston bars, restaurants and cafes granted new or renewed pavement licences

The sun brought plenty of business into local restaurants and pubs as they welcomed the public back. Vicky, manager at Forum Preston, Winckley Street, told us she was grateful of the fine weather as she said: “We’ve had lots of friendly faces stop by, we’ve been fully booked all week and thankfully the weathers been nice today so looking forward to the rest of the week.”

Vicky and her team gladly welcomed customers back to Forum.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

With stage two of lockdown lifting seemingly successful, stage three is set to commence on May 17. This will mean pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues can seat customers indoors and people can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors.

St Georges welcomed customers in the warm weather back to Preston city centre.

Have you been to the city centre to see the shops reopen today? Let us know in the comments.

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